Take a second to examine where you are right now. Think about every detail: where you sit at work, your first day on the job and the decisions that led you to work for your organization. Was it the money? Benefits package? Professional growth potential? Have these reasons changed in any way and/or has your opinion of your organization improved or worsened since your first day?
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." —Steve Jobs
Answering these questions will give you insight on your job satisfaction and career success. However, there is a difference between job satisfaction and career growth.
A job is temporary; it's an opportunity for you to earn money, and has minimal impact on your future work life. Careers provide networking, experience, and learning. It's a chance for you to evolve as a person, both personally and professionally. It's where your behavior matures, skill sets grow, and you become an expert at things you felt completely clueless in initially.
But, what if you're failing at your career? And how would you even know?
1. You Hate Your Job But Won't Do Anything About It
People can grow to dislike their jobs for all sorts of reasons: lack of challenging work, long commutes, small cubicles, feeling uninspired, craving more work-life balance, bosses that are nothing less than total jerks.
Despite your reasoning, you continue to find yourself having the Monday blues, feeling apathetic towards your work projects, and concentrating less. You may start to vent a lot about your work, feel less excited about getting up in the morning, and even become depressed. Or, even worse, you haven't gotten a raise in a long time and your vices have tripled.
2. You Have No Upward Mobility (Or You're Not Moving Up The Corporate Ladder)
If you have no plans outside of your current position, you're stuck. Likewise, if your higher-ups have been in their positions for several years, the chances of you landing that role are also pretty slim. Point-blank: look at your promotion prospects, if any, and decide if they are of any benefit to you.
This will also be different for everyone, because while someone, for example, values higher pay and is willing to stay at a job they don't like because of the money, another person may accept a pay reduction with open arms just to take on another job that allows them to work from home.
Reminder: Upward mobility doesn't always equal climbing the corporate ladder. As long as you're professionally growing in some shape, way, or form—like gaining more expertise in your area or working to earn a higher position with more responsibilities—you're on a positive track.
No matter what stage of your career you're in, having long-term professional goals is so important, because your current job will always be temporary. Truly, it is how each experience transforms you to become a better, more legendary version of yourself that will bring the utmost value and meaning to your life.
How To Stop The Cycle
1. Create Sovereign Beliefs
Whichever decision you make, whether it be to leave your current position or change your career altogether, ignore the chatter. And yes, there will be a lot of chatter surrounding your decision from friends, colleagues, and family.
- "It's an amazing job, why would you quit?"
- "What will you do now?"
- "What kind of money and career could you possibly find in ___?"
- "You should try nursing or real estate!"
Create your own beliefs—you are worthy, talented, and determined to find a career that fits who you are (not what others want you to be).
2. Squeeze The Juice
Use your current position to gain as many transferable skills as you can for your next career move. For example, if you enjoy marketing and that's truly where you see yourself, can you get involved in any marketing-related projects, even if it's just a couple hours/week?
Think of this objectively: What bullet points can add to your resume that your dream job employer would praise and value?
3. Ready, Set, Goal!
Start setting short and long-term goals by asking yourself, "What do I want to achieve in one week, one month, and one year? By writing down your goals, your professional vision will become clearer.
4. Throw Out The Trash
We all have skeletons in our closet that hold us back from achieving greatness and increasing our inner light. Friends that trigger our insecurities, destructive eating habits, negative thinking patterns, etc. Find out what your specific "trash" is and develop ways to start tossing it!
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